Claiming British Citizenship

Lord West of Spithead (Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office; Labour) 

  • We are not proposing to make any changes in relation to the status of British nationals within the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill. We have already made provision for those holding other forms of British nationality to register as British citizens. If a person lives in the United Kingdom for a period of five years, and meets certain residence requirements, he or she can apply for registration under Section 4(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981.  
  • Since April 2003, British overseas citizens, British subjects and British protected persons have been able to apply for registration under Section 4B of that Act if they do not have any other nationality. The British Nationality Hong Kong Act 1997 also provides for the registration of those who would otherwise be stateless and are ordinarily resident in Hong Kong.
  • For some decades we have not properly grasped the nettle of controlling our borders and immigration. That is now beginning to happen. In 1994, I think it was, we stopped counting people out of the country; we will now be counting people out and in. We will have exact details of the persons they say they are so that they cannot come in as anyone else. This will be extremely valuable.


Phil Woolas (Minister of State (also in the Home Office), Home Office; Oldham East & Saddleworth, Labour)


  • I am today laying regulations on fees for immigration and nationality services.

The Government review the fees on a regular basis and makes appropriate changes as necessary. We have continued with our strategic approach to charging; setting certain fees on the basis of the value of the service as well as cost recovery in a number of areas.


Finally, we have also proposed fees for several new processes and services we provided previously free of charge. These new services were specified in the Fees Order laid on the 21 January. The fees for these services will be set in negative regulations. Full details on how to apply for these services will be provided on our website,

 A full table of fees for 2009-10 is set out at Annex A.